A Word from the Wibbitz Editors

How to Set Your Video’s Mood with Soundtracks

By Mariana Bialek | Aug 17, 2016


Wibbitz’s in-house editorial team creates daily Top Story news videos using our text-to-video Control Room platform. In this guest post, our Senior Editor Mariana walks us through her soundtrack selection process and reveals how to set each video’s mood accordingly.

Your news video may have the perfect media, a great summary, and a catchy title, but if a viewer turns on the sound and hears silence, the chances of them watching to completion will quickly decline. A video’s soundtrack has a significant affect on its overall story – the right music can serenade and captivate the viewer, and allow them to fully understand and even feel the message you are trying to convey. In fact, according to research from the University of London, the mood of a song can change a viewer’s perception of the emotions of human faces. But how do you know which soundtrack is the right one, or how to find it in the first place? The following steps will help you add the perfect touch of sound to any news video:

STEP 1: Understand Your Story

Before you add any extra elements to your video, it’s imperative to understand the purpose of your story – is it informative or entertaining? Is it trending or breaking? What is its message? Once you determine the point of your story, it’s much easier to understand which type of sound will best articulate that point: a video informing your viewers of a mass shooting should sound solemn, while a story about the best beaches in France should evoke relaxation.

STEP 2: Choose Your Soundtrack

Once I have a clear idea of which mood my story should convey, I tend to play around with as many different (albeit relevant) soundtracks as possible until I feel that emotion myself. While this tactic may be a bit time consuming with most video production tools, the Wibbitz Control Room speeds up the soundtrack selection process by consolidating a plethora of soundtracks into one place: the Sound stage. These soundtracks are then organized into two different filters: Categories and Moods.

Browsing soundtracks filtered by Category is helpful if you aren’t 100% sure which mood you’d like to articulate, and would like to play around with the 10-15 different soundtracks that tend to work best for a particular news topic (Sports, Entertainment, Business, etc.). If you know exactly which emotion you would like to convey, then it’s best to go straight to the Mood filter, where you can choose between 5 or so soundtracks that will evoke your intended feeling. Whether that feeling is powerful, luxurious, dramatic… it’s up to you, editor!

STEP 3: Create Your Experience

As you decide which soundtrack works best for your video’s story, make sure you are also considering how the music might add or take away from your video’s visual transitions and media clips, as well as any additional sounds like voiceovers and soundbites. While soundbites may take place of the soundtrack in a particular frame, it’s still important to pay attention to how the two sounds will fade into one another. Voiceovers on the other hand are occurring at the same time as a soundtrack, and should never seem to be competing with one another. Make sure the tone of your narrator’s voice and the mood of your music is one and the same, and that the soundtrack remains in the background – your video’s music should work to enhance your story, not distract from it.

Here are some Top Story videos that I created in the Control Room with these three steps in mind:


Entertainment News

When it comes to Entertainment News, I almost always prefer a mood that is upbeat and lighthearted. My go-to soundtrack for Entertainment News is Shakedown – I like the beat, and how it adds a fun and festive vibe to any video:

Justin Bieber and Sofia Richie are Finally Official!

Sports News

For Sports News, clips and highlights, we have a great selection of thrilling and energizing soundtracks. I chose to match the exciting transitions of our Sports theme with our Set to Sun soundtrack to cover the biggest sports story of the summer:

Michael Phelps Ends Olympic Career With 23rd Gold Medal


Funny / Comedy

To let viewers know that their favorite childhood treat is now available for home delivery, I decided to create a video that was lively and in good humor. All the soundtracks in the Funny / Comedy section would have fit nicely, but Cheeky Charlie really added the overtly happy vibe I was looking for.

Hostess Brings Glorious Deep Fried Twinkies Straight To Your Home

Ambient / Relaxed

An easy going, cool, and strictly informative story, like this one about Starbucks adding an almond milk option, needs a soundtrack that evokes the same feeling. In this case, I chose to use Strictly Come Cruising, which creates an experience reminiscent of a relaxing coffee break.

Starbucks is Finally Adding Almond Milk to its Menu

Mariana Bialek